Bosnia-Herzegovina imported 316.8 million BAM of fruits and vegetables last year. Of these, 107.3 million BAM were allocated for vegetables, while the value of fruit imports was 209.5 million BAM.
A year ago, the total value was 275 million BAM. So, instead of producing, we import, pay expensive and poor quality, eat garlic from China, Italian pears, and even import apples, plums, cabbage and potatoes, which used to be the trademark of our farmers.
Much more expensive
We can write books about the quality of our products, but the fact is that we pay a lot more for imported ones than domestic ones.
For years, domestic manufacturers have warned about this and Nedzad Bico from the Farmers’ Association, who knows for a while what reminds us of the state’s neglect of farmers, small incentives, insufficient protection of agricultural production.
“And when, then, will our manufacturers be competitive? When considering the amount of incentives and support from the state, it comes to the fact that farmers work for free. That is why milk from the region is significantly cheaper than ours,” says Bico. But he hopes it will be better, as farmers have been promised over the year that more money will be allocated to them. “Now it remains to be seen how this money will be distributed,” says Bico.
Poor statistics In addition to record imports, Bosnian Foreign Trade Chamber recorded a seven percent drop in exports last year in the agricultural industry. Experts therefore conclude that we import as much as 90 percent of the food we eat.
Marin Bago of the Mostar Consumer Association states that the import of products we ourselves grow, has long become a destabilizing factor.
“When it comes to food, production and agriculture, we are at a low level, and even when discussing it. We need to solve this problem, first of all, to feed ourselves with quality food,” Bago points out for Avaz news portal.